But Republicans aren’t bothered about dishonesty, by definition. We’re talking about people who are whipping votes against holding someone in contempt for defying a congressional subpoena in an investigation of a violent attack on Congress itself. The reasons for the select committee to want to talk to Bannon are rock solid, and clearly laid out in the contempt resolution. On Jan. 5, Bannon joined a group of Trump loyalists at the Willard Hotel, blocks from the White House, strategizing to block the certification of the election with the goal of overturning its result. Also on Jan. 5, in his War Room podcast, Bannon was pretty nakedly attempting to incite an insurrection, saying:
It’s not going to happen like you think it’s going to happen. OK, it’s going to be quite extraordinarily different. All I can say is, strap in. [. . .] You made this happen and tomorrow it’s game day. So strap in. Let’s get ready.
All hell is going to break loose tomorrow. [. . .] So many people said, ‘Man, if I was in a revolution, I would be in Washington.’ Well, this is your time in history.
Bannon was an active part of the effort to overturn the election and reverse Donald Trump’s loss, and he was, via his podcast, attempting to speak directly to the people who became the mob that attacked the Capitol. Of course the House select committee wants to talk to him. But House Republicans do not want that to happen.
That said, Republicans may not spend too much time attacking Garland for any plans he may have to move on a criminal referral from the House against Bannon, because they may be too busy attacking him for his efforts to address a different form of Republican violence: threats and intimidation against local school board members over mask policies and teaching on race and racism. While Democrats are busy investigating—over Republican objections and obstruction—the last Republican attack on democratic institutions, Republicans are encouraging the next one, while painting it as concerned parents’ innocent participation in public debate.